Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology is a multi-faceted discipline that comprises many diverse subjects. To reflect this diversity, the section is organized into the following three programs of graduate study, shown with their major emphases:
- Biology and Ecology of Plant Pathogens
- Epidemiology and Population Biology of Plant Pathogens
- Etiology, Diagnosis, and Management of Plant Diseases
- Molecular and Cellular Basis of Inter-organismal Interactions
- Functional Genomics and Proteomics
- Plant Responses to Symbionts and Pathogens
- Genetics and Genomics
- Cell and Developmental Biology
- Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution
In addition to the core requirements and expectations of all students in the Field of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, each program of study has its own core expectations and requirements. At the same time, there is overlap among programs of study, and the boundaries are purposely diffuse to maximize interaction. Students and faculty interact frequently, without regard to program boundaries, and take advantage of the synergies possible by exploring the intersections across programs of study.
On completing a research master's (MS, typically 2-3 years) or doctoral degree (PhD, typically 4-6 years) a student is expected to have demonstrated:
- Mastery of knowledge in their chosen program of study and to make a contribution to the scholarship of the field (MS) or synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline (PhD).
- Advanced research skills by synthesizing existing knowledge; identifying and accessing all sources of relevant information; applying and modifying existing research methodologies, techniques, and technical skills; and critically analyzing and evaluating one's own findings and those of others.
- Effective oral, written, and visual communication skills and the ability to listen, give, and receive feedback effectively.
- A commitment to advancing the values of scholarship by keeping abreast of current advances within one's field and related areas and showing a commitment to personal, professional development through engagement in professional societies, publications, teaching, grantsmanship, collaborative inquiry, mentoring, and other knowledge transfer modes.